Market watch: KSE-100 sheds 248 points, falls below 30,000

KARACHI: Following a day’s relief, the benchmark KSE-100 index once again entered the negative territory at the stock market and shed 248 points as investors resorted to profit-booking, pushing the index below the 30,000-point mark.

Earlier, trading began on a positive note on Tuesday but a lack of positive triggers dented investor sentiment and sparked profit-booking. Supported by thin volumes, the market fell steadily throughout the day and closed in the red.

Automobile, cement and fertiliser stocks received a battering in the wake of bearish trade.

At close, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 247.61 points, or 0.82%, to settle at 29,809.68 points.

Arif Habib Limited, in its report, stated that the market opened on a positive note with a gain of 25 points and extended the gains to 190 points, after which selling activity pushed the index down by 318 points.

“In the last half hour, selling pressure mounted with the session ending with a loss of 248 points,” it said.

Oil and Gas Development Company and Pakistan Petroleum Limited fared well earlier in the session and recorded gains but later profit-booking caused the stocks to retreat. They closed lower than the previous day.

Other than exploration and production, cement, fertiliser and banking sectors added fuel to the selling pressure.

The cement sector led the volumes table with trading in 11 million shares, followed by the technology sector (9.2 million) and exploration and production sector (4.7 million).

Among individual stocks, Maple Leaf Cement recorded trading in 6.2 million shares, followed by WorldCall Telecom (4.5 million) and Unity Foods (4.2 million).

JS Global analyst Maaz Mulla said the bourse remained volatile as the KSE-100 index traded between an intra-day high of +190 points and intra-day low of -318 points to close at 29,810, down 248 points.

“Most of the selling pressure was witnessed during the second half of the day, which resulted in a negative overall outcome,” he said. “On the news front, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir is arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday on a day-long visit to Pakistan.”

Heavyweights of the exploration and production sector experienced price drop which included Pakistan Petroleum (-1.5%) and Oil and Gas Development Company (-0.6%). However, Pakistan Oilfields (+0.5%) from the same sector remained in the green.

Moreover, selling pressure was witnessed in the cement sector where Lucky Cement (-3.1%), DG Khan Cement (-3.8%), Fauji Cement (-2.8%), Pioneer Cement (-2.5%) and Maple Leaf Cement (-2.7%) received a beating.

Volume leaders of the day were Maple Leaf Cement (-2.7%), WorldCall Telecom (-2.4%), Unity Foods (-2.4%) and TRG Pakistan (-3.3%) with cumulative trading in nearly 19 million shares.

“Moving ahead, we expect the market to remain volatile due to geopolitical tensions. We recommend investors to stay cautious at current levels,” the analyst said.

Overall, trading volumes decreased to 64.04 million shares compared with Monday’s tally of 77.45 million. The value of shares traded during the day was Rs2.4 billion.

Shares of 338 companies were traded. At the end of the day, 89 stocks closed higher, 230 declined and 19 remained unchanged.

Maple Leaf Cement was the volume leader with 6.2 million shares, losing Rs0.47 to close at Rs17.2. It was followed by WorldCall Telecom with 4.6 million shares, losing Rs0.02 to close at Rs0.8 and Unity Foods with 4.2 million shares, losing Rs0.2 to close at Rs8.07.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs191.5 million worth of shares during the trading session, according to data compiled by the National Clearing Company of Pakistan.

The SPI for the combined income group surged 19.44% compared to the corresponding week of previous year.

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